5 Books That Should Get Banned
Whenever banning books is mentioned, book readers get outraged. I understand that. I don’t like other people, especially people I don’t know, making my decisions for me. Banning books is wrong, very very wrong. But sometimes, I run across a book and think, “This simply should not exist.”
The American Library Association has just published its 10 most banned books list, and book readers are again outraged that anybody would try to ban books. The list isn’t that impressive. 35 years ago, real books got banned. Go Ask Alice, and Sybil, and Massage Parlor II, now those were books that were worth banning. The current list of banned books is lame.
Captain Underpants? Fifty Shades of Grey? Perks of Being a Wallflower? My God, is this what the current generation of book banners has come to? I yearn for the day when trying to ban a book actually meant something. If was going to ban books (and I’m not, but if I were), I’d pick books that people could agree with me about. I’d pick books where I could gather the support of millions, and storm libraries all across the country (in a figurative way, of course).
1. 1984 by George Orwell and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
This is what happens when you write a futuristic book and use the futuristic year as your title. Both 1984 and 2001 have passed us by, and both books with these years as their titles were way off. They weren’t even close. Once the year of a futuristic book with the year in the title has passed us by, the book should get banned because it might confuse people who read. What if befuddled readers thought 1984 and 2001: A Space Odyssey were historical novels? We must prevent such confusion and ban the books just to be on the safe side.
By the way, I also believe the Prince song “1999” should be banned. I was there in 1999 and saw how people partied that year, and believe me, it was ugly.
2. Z is for… by Sue Grafton
The alphabet mystery series (starting with A Is For Alibi and B Is For Burglar) is a preposterously bad idea with several corny titles (W Is For Wasted), and yet it seems like the author Sue Grafton might get to book 26. I don’t want anything bad to happen to Sue Grafton before she finishes this bad idea of a series. I want her to finish, but this alphabet series idea was so bad that the last book should get banned, just so that nobody can read all 26 books. That would teach a valuable to all famous authors; persistence might pay, but bad ideas still get punished in some way.
Anybody can ban a book once it’s published. I want to ban a book that hasn’t even been written yet. I don’t think even the title has been released yet. I like being unprecedented.
3. Any James Patterson book with a co-author
James Patterson has enough books published already (I’m not going to count them). He doesn’t need any more, especially if somebody else is wring the books for him. Therefore, any new James Patterson book not completely written by James Patterson should be banned. I will not allow the reading public to have the freedom to make bad decisions on this issue.
I’m not completely unreasonable. If James Patterson completely wrote a new book, I’d allow it to not be banned.
4. Palo Alto and Actors Anonymous by James Franco
I tried to read Palo Alto. I had my biases, I admit. I thought it would be poorly written, and it was worse than I thought it would be. I’m not even going to think about reading Actor’s Anonymous. If people want to watch James Franco movies, look at James Franco artwork, study with James Franco in college, or watch James Franco hosting awards shows, that’s their business. But books are my business. And these novels by James Franco should be banned… just because!
Maybe if he hired one of James Patterson’s co-authors, his books would be better.
5. Any Book on a MUST READ List
Almost every literary website/blog has “Must Read” book lists. I’ve seen “10 Books from 2013 You Must Read!” I’ve seen “10 Books You Must Read Before You’re 50!” I’ve seen “10 Books You Must Read Before the Movies Come out!” I’ve even seen “10 Books You Must Read before You Die!” That was pretty morbid. I know when I’m going to turn 50, but I don’t know when I’m going to die. I wouldn’t want to jinx myself by reading all 10 books on that list.
I don’t like it when websites tell me what I must read. I didn’t like it when high school teachers and college professors did it. I really don’t like it when somebody who has no authority over tries to tell me I “MUST READ” a book. I’ll decide what books I must read. And if I could, I’d ban every book from those “Must Read” lists just to discourage others from making such lists. I believe in doing what it takes to discourage bad behavior.
Believe me, I take the act of banning books very seriously. I don’t like making decisions for other people, but sometimes I feel like I have to take a stand. If somebody else wants to ban 50 Shades of Grey because it has poorly written sex scenes, somebody else has to point out that there are so many other books that are far more worthy of getting banned.
But enough about me! What books do you think should get banned? Do the books that I mentioned deserve to get banned? What criteria do you use when deciding what books to ban?
Here’s a book that’s never been banned, but maybe it should be.